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On the 4th and 5th of April, the Brussels Lacrosse /  ISB Raiders Lacrosse Club are hosting the 6th Annual Brussels Youth Lacrosse Tournament. Several youth lacrosse clubs from all over Europe

followed the invitation from Greg Murawsky and Jason Baseden and travel to this traditional youth tournament in Europe. Besides the great lacrosse experiences the youngsters will get the opportunity to socialize with each other and meet clubs from different countries, which will be a huge benefit for everybody.

All teams thank the ISB Raiders and really looking forward to a great lacrosse weekend!  

 

by Jakob da Goalie 

Lacrosse got off to an early start this year in North-Rhine Westphalia with the first ever ProLaxShop NRW Cup on February 14th and15th. The round-robin tournament saw four teams from throughout NRW meet at Düsseldorf Sport Club, the home of DSC ’99, in its first year.

Teams from Aachen, Cologne, Düsseldorf, and a mixed team made up of players from Bielefeld and Münster each played three full-length games over the course of the two-day tournament, and at the end Aachen stood victorious besting Bielefeld/Münster 23-5, Cologne 12-2, and Düsseldorf 15-0, followed by Cologne in second place with Düsseldorf taking third.

The weather held out in Düsseldorf through the end of the tournament letting the players showcase their sport to German fans and media. Fans from all over the state as well as newspaper and television reporters were in attendance to catch a glimpse of the American game, which is still very foreign to the German general public. “The tournament was really great considering it was in its first year,” explained Michael Meyer, one of the tournament’s organizers. “All the games ran smoothly and the teams got a lot of good exposure to one another. Lacrosse in Germany is really small, and it takes tournaments like this one to help the sport spread and develop.”

This tournament was the first time that a lot of the players had seen game time since the end of the fall season last November.

In the DSC clubhouse after winning the tournament, Frederic du Bois-Reymond, player/coach for the Aachen A-Team explained why this tournament is so important: “We really had to shake off the rust going into the second half of the season.” He continued to explain that gaining experience is one of the hardest things for a new lacrosse player, and the tournament was a great place to try out new players in the lineup.

Also new to the field in Düsseldorf was a team of three referees in the final stage of their training. The tournament served as a training ground for the new refs, giving them the much-sought experience in a relaxed, tournament environment. The students who passed their practical exam over the weekend are now certified national lacrosse referees, providing much needed reinforcement to the ranks of German lacrosse refs. The training was organized by Aachen’s Tim Pohlmann.

In the West German Lacrosse League, regular season play starts again in mid march, but the NRW cup marked the beginning of practice for Aachen, Bielefeld and Münster. Cologne and Düsseldorf had been practicing throughout the winter.

Because of the positive resonances the organizers intend to hold the ProLaxShop NRW Cup next year again. Dominique Nebreklijevic, the host and organizer, forecasts a larger tournament with expanded participation of men’s teams and even a women’s bracket.

There are more pics available on - www.US-Sports.tv

Post by: Gavin Schlissel – Aachen #11

Post by:  By Fentress Boyse

Heading off to Germany to work for a year between high school and college, I thought lacrosse would have to go on hold for a while. What were the chances I would find a lacrosse team in Germany? Slim to none I thought. Who would want to pick up a lax stick in the land of soccer and Sebastian Schweinsteiger?  Probably nobody. 

Who would have known, but it turns out I was pretty wrong.

Germany boasts 38 lacrosse teams - including a good one in my city of Dusseldorf.  These teams are divided into four regional leagues. They play fall ball and have wild box tournaments in the winter.  Go to Goettingen for the La Box tournament and tell me how you liked it.  When the real season starts in the spring, each team plays almost every weekend.  The winners in the different regions make it to the playoffs where the German Champion is determined. Last year Hamburg won for both men and women.

Did you know Germany has fielded a National team since 1994?  I didn’t.  They won the European Championships in 2001, and were runners up ‘04 and ‘08.  Through a set of coincidences, I was part of the U-19 team that went to the World Games this past summer.  We finished 6th, with 6 wins and only two losses. The U-19 German team had never won a game in an international tournament before.  I call that serious improvement!

I don’t need to tell you Lax in Germany is on the upswing .  Go see for yourself.  In a nation that’s stubborn to change, its truly impressive what has been accomplished there.  But before you rush over there, I’ll leave you with a few hints. 

1. Germans think florescent Adidas soccer cleats are stylish - pick another battle. 
2. Over there, 90% of lacrosse is not in the flow.
3. In Germany, a beer after the game is almost as important as the game itself.

This is the first of what we in Brussels hope will be a series of blog entries about lacrosse and youth lacrosse in Europe from the perspective of the coaches and players of the only lacrosse team in Belgium and what we think is the only high school team on continental Europe (the island nations of Great Britain and Ireland excepted).  It is kind of ironic for North Americans like Greg and I to have to move to old Europe in order to enjoy a pioneering experience, but that’s precisely what we are doing, at least in lacrosse terms.  We’ll blog later about the roots of Lacrosse at the International School of Brussels, from where we are writing.

We’ve conducted a little research about the roots of the game in Europe, which is probably the best place to begin our own story. It is said that story of lacrosse in Europe begins in 1867 after Queen Victoria watched 27 Canadians including 13 Iroquois, led by a certain W.G. Beers, play a match on the grounds of Windsor castle.  The queen’s diary entry that day noted that “The game was very pretty to watch.”  Her aristocratic entourage apparently got the hint, and within months lacrosse was being played by the daughters of the great and the good at England’s most posh boarding schools. The men’s game also took off, and when Beers returned with another Canadian team in 1883, he discovered that some sixty clubs had been formed in Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Lancashire Middlesex and Yorkshire.  It was the first lacrosse boomlet in Europe, but one that stopped at the frigid waters of the English Channel.

There are two points to remember here.  1) In lacrosse terms, the green pastures of Buckingham Palace may well be as hallowed as the artificial turf at Hopkins’ Homewood Field and, 2) Lacrosse in Europe is most deeply rooted in England.  Not surprisingly, the best lacrosse in Europe is still played there even as the game begins to take root in Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands and elsewhere. England, of course, is the only European nation competing at the highest levels of world lacrosse. The rest of Europe is playing catch up.

But things are moving quickly here.  Just the other day, we noticed that NLL lacrosse is now shown on European cable television. Nothing will raise interest like that. Both Greg and I play ice hockey here in Brussels with a bunch of Finns, Swedes, Russians and Czechs.  We can tell you that lacrosse quickly catches the eye of hockey players and there are a lot of hockey players in northern and Central Europe! The Czechs are picking up box lacrosse very quickly and developing stick skills that are surprising advanced although stylistically more similar those practiced by kids from Ontario than those from Baltimore. You can tell that a game is growing and taking root when national styles of play begin to become evident.

It’s the end of January in sun starved Belgium. The weather has been uncharacteristically cold and obviously we are now in the interstices between Fall Ball and the spring season. Practice begins only in March and our hope is that our 45 or so kids are occasionally taking their sticks out to work on their left hands. My suspicion is that if they are taking out their sticks they are shooting around on their strong hands which will make our challenge all the greater come March.

We will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Paul Cook is the Assistant Lacrosse Coach at the International School of Brussels in Belgium. During the day he is the Director of the Economics and Security Committee at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He began his lacrosse career as a midfielder playing for the legendary coach, Heb Evans, at what was then known as Governor Dummer Academy but which has since become the Governor’s Academy. He went to play attack for the B Lacrosse Team at Johns Hopkins and was one of its captains in 1982. He played some club ball in Washington afterwards,  coached ice hockey in the Italian Alps for two years, and  returned to the game of lacrosse two years ago when, to his amazement, he discovered that it was being played at the International School of Brussels where his son had just enrolled.

Greg Murawsky is a Science teacher at the International School of Brussels.  Seven years ago, three students had discovered that he was a former “Box Lacrosse” player from Ottawa, Canada and enlisted him to be the coach for the new “club” at the school.  Seven years later, the lax club has grown into a a legitimate team and Brussels has been working to create youth lacrosse opportunities for its students and anyone who’ll play us all over Europe and in the UK.

A new web page was established quite some time ago to connect all lacrosse players worldwide. Laxmap.org is a web page composed by lacrosse players for lacrosse players in order to spread the knowledge about lacrosse.
 
The page built using Google Maps and allows everybody to tag his/her lacrosse club, including announcement of tournaments and lacrosse shops in respective country.
 
An impressive number of club teams worldwide have left their tags already on this map.  With this page, another level communication has been made possible and the worldwide growth of the greatest sport on this planet is once again demonstrated.
 
Take part in this venture and tag your home team in the map now!

Snow snow and more snow, the South of England was really bad this week, the whole country stops for a quarter inch of snow, so 4 inches really put the brakes on absolutely everything.
 
But we still go on looking for new players, the men’s and women’s  youth teams in Trowbridge, Wiltshire looked to have recruited a couple of likely candidates, sadly the games were all called off over the weekend and we didn’t get to see their skills.

Nice gloves though..

Streborkin

Beginning with the second round the actual chance in the playing-system of the Bundesliga Süd becomes effective. The final tableau of the first round, where every team faced any other team once, was divided into two separate groups: The first four teams into a group and the second four teams in another group. Now each team plays every other team in their group twice and the first two teams of the upper tableau are qualified for the Play-Offs.

There are a number of reasons for this system:  First of all, every team plays at least once against every other team in the league. But on the other hand every team has more games against teams of their strength and we hope this will increase and improve fun and skill for every team.

Max Maier

On the 23rd of January 2009 the coaching staff announced the German National Team squad.
The squad contains of 34 players from 12 different club teams.

The next event for the squad are friendly games against the Dutch in Amsterdam on February 21st and 22nd.

On the squad are the following players:

Al-Dujaili, Sahra
Bailly, Sarah
Bechstein, Viktoria
Beschwitz, vonJanna
Blank, Anna
Blank, Katharina
Bock, vonGesa
Decker, Katharina
Fitzek, Antonia
Flatken, Regina
Gees, Kora
Gilg, Franziska
Hupka, Inga
Jungk, Annette
Karbe, Antonia
Klein, Marion
Kriwall, Mareile
Luhn, Franziska
Mackensen, Isabella
Meier, Katharina
Meyfarth, Birgit
Neubert, Lisa
Patterson, Emily
Paul, Sabine
Reinhold, Annika
Rieckhoff, Britta
Schröder, Nora
Schulte, Lisa
Schulte, Eva
Schumann, Annette
Schüßler, Annkathrin
Schuster, Pola
Wilhelm, Bettina
Zindl, Claudia

 
From Germany
 
Mareile

The problem with blogs, is where to start.  I’m sure once I get into the flow of things stuff will come easy!

Should I concentrate on what I do for work or what I do for my club; my hobby and work seem to merge spectacularly, one of the dangers of working for the sport you love I suppose.

Development, what’s that?  Answers on a post card J I seem to spend a lot of time on the M4 or M3 (main routes to London), maybe I could become a traffic correspondent – “The M4 near Reading has stopped moving today because some dolt has decided to park his car facing the wrong way in the fast lane”  

Or maybe one of those blokes who goes and eats at the service stations in order to write a food guide or something – “The £5.99 bacon bap came across as a combination of cardboard and that stuff 13th century sailors used to eat when they were starving;  great value really, about £1 a tooth”

No doubt both will feature highly.

The week started okay, I drove the mini bus to Wandsworth South London with the second team to get a spanking in the Flags (knock out competition), outclassed and outpaced in most departments.  The problem was that we scored first and just got them mad.  The kids did well though, Bath seconds are a real mixture of old farts (Me ), students (hangover), and teenagers (acne).  The after match food was good as well.  Chicken in rice and a chilli sauce that completely anesthetised your lips.  The highlight of the drive back was some numpty overtaking us on a country lane, then getting out of his car to swear at us for being in the way.  Maybe he didn’t see 15 lunatic lacrosse players in the bus, otherwise he might have thought better of it.

County Sport meetings in the week Bristol and London are always a blast.  I see another guide book opportunity in that as well; “Curly sandwiches and things on sticks”.  A big talking point across the region is Sports Unlimited.  Lots of coaching available between 3:15 and 5, but no facilities or enough coaches, and how do you “aim” something at a Semi Sporty kid?  What is a “Semi Sporty” kid?

Club training went well, the girls nattered, the boys moaned, there must be some joy in dealing with little kids and teenagers.  One thing they all have in common, is they can’t put their pads and helmets on.  I now have thumbs like Garth after popping god knows how many chin straps on helmets.  Got some new kids along though.  It was great to see the 8 year olds running around with all the kit on.  It always reminds me of Marvin the Martian.

Next week sees the build up to my son’s 18th Birthday.  I will I finally get a pint out of him legally?  And my daughter comes back from skiing (all in one piece I hope), family reunited…ahhhhh.  More like the end of peace and quiet, ho hum

Streborkin

On the 17th and 18th of January 2009 the tryout for the German Women’s national team took place in Düsseldorf under direction of the new head coach Damien Orr.

With his assistant coaches Susanna Ingalls and Molly MCCourt, Goalkeeper coach Björn Lohrenz and fitness coach  Chrisian Schröder he had to select a squad for the world cup preperation.

Over 50 applicants fom all over Germany tried out for the chance to represent their country.  The squad will be announced within the next week and we’ll bring it to you here.

We thank DSC 99 for hosting the tryout.

Mareile Kriwall

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